Fragility, violence and criminality in the Gulf of Guinea.

By Dr. Elisa Lopez Lucia – The Gulf of Guinea is rich in oil and gas, and a major international trade route. While oil wealth in the context of weak governance and under-development is creating tensions leading to criminality and violence, high geostrategic stakes provide the incentives for national, regional and international actors to seek solutions. This rapid literature review analyses the causes, dynamics and responses to maritime security issues in three concentrated areas: the Niger Delta, the Bakassi peninsula and along the West African coast between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. It shows that the many actors who are either directly involved in or enabling criminality in the region maintain […]

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WAPSN 2016 Symposium, Calls for paper, Peace Support Operations in West Africa

The West Africa Peace and Security Network would like to announce that the Deadline for the Call for Papers is has until 8 January 2016. Call for Papers 2nd Annual Symposium of the West Africa Peace and Security Network (WAPSN) Peace Support Operations in West Africa WAPSN is organizing its second annual symposium in Accra, Ghana, at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in late April or early May 2016 (tbc). We invite all interested academics, practitioners and professionals to submit 250-word abstracts for papers to be presented, if accepted, at the symposium. Abstracts must respect the 250-word limit, address one or more of the research questions below, and […]

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Mali – The normalization of German security policy?

by Dr. Matthias Vogl , Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI), University of Bonn There was recently a news report about the deployment of a German contingent of up to 650 soldiers – among them reconnaissance forces – to Mali within the framework of the UN Mission MINUSMA. This contingent is about to replace Dutch forces during the next few months. Given the widely known German reluctance to send soldiers into risky scenarios in Africa, one could ask if this attitude is changing now, as MINUSMA is dubbed one of the most dangerous UN missions worldwide. Is German military engagement in Africa, apart from training and logistics, becoming something normal? […]

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Hollande and Africa Policy

By Professor Tony Chafer – Studies of French Africa policy have traditionally focused on its neo-colonial basis and the often corrupt nature of the relations it engendered because of the connivances of semiofficial and unofficial networks and covert practices that characterised it. These are often referred to in the literature as la Francafrique. In seeking to understand Francois Hollande’s Africa policy this article moves away from a neo-colonial, Francafrique analytical framework and instead seeks to engage with the continuity versus change debate in French Africa policy through the lens of geopolitics. The three central themes of Hollande’s Africa policy—security, partnership and trade—are analysed, focusing firstly on the French interventions in […]

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Facing the geopolitical consequences of the falling oil price in West Africa

By Sophie Quintin Adali – Oil is the king of commodities and its tumbling price has thrown global financial markets into turmoil. For fragile oil-dependent West African states this situation could spell disaster with serious consequences for international security. If the falling crude price means cheaper petrol at the pump for oil-importing European states, the outlook for their oil industry is rather gloomier. In the short to medium terms, companies will need to adjust by axing jobs and investments. For oil-exporting economies, adjusting could prove far more problematic. It is worth recalling that the crash of the oil price in 1985 was one of the determinant factors in the collapse […]

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